Tier 4 restrictions mean affected people won’t be able to gather with their friends and family this Christmas as previously expected. While the Government had introduced the idea of a Christmas bubble, enabling three households to mix for five days from December 23 to December 27, a new mutant strain of coronavirus affecting parts of the country means that can no longer go ahead. Instead, the Christmas bubble has been cut down to one day for people outside Tier 4, while those affected by the stricter measures have been forced to stay home at Christmas.
Despite the gloomy news, some people will be able to see their loved ones this Christmas even if the restrictions are in place.
Good Morning Britain host Adil Ray, covering for Piers Morgan, explained a loophole in the <Tier system that means people don’t have to spend Christmas Day on their on.
Mr Ray told viewers that if they lived on their own, they did not have to be isolated this Christmas – with support bubbles being their saving grace.
Addressing the nation, Mr Ray said: “If you are in Tier 4, you can still meet people in your existing support bubble, and there are lots of criteria that make a support bubble.
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“Things like single parents, single people, single vulnerable people, a family with a young child under one.”
He added: “And you can [stay] overnight with them as well.
“It’s not ideal and you should try to keep your support bubbles local and not overnight, but you can.
“I think that gives a little bit of reassurance to some families and vulnerable people who felt they were going to be entirely alone this Christmas.
The guidance does, however, go on to say if you are vulnerable and already in a support bubble, you can meet people in the bubble on Christmas Day even if they are in Tier 4, but it advises against staying the night.
They add that anyone in a support bubble should self isolate for five days before they meet with other bubble members.
And it’s worth noting that not everybody can form a support bubble.
On December 2, however, the rules were changed to widen eligibility for those who weren’t allowed to form bubbles before.
You can form a support bubble with another household of any size if:
- You live by yourself – even if carers come to visit you providing support
- You are the only adult in your household who doesn’t need continuous care as a result of disability
- Your household includes a child with a disability who requires continuous care and is under the age of five, or who was under that age on December 2, 2020
- You are aged 16 or 17 and living with others of the same age without any adults
- You are a single adult living with one or more children who are under the age of 18 or were under that age on June 12, 2020
You should not form a support bubble with another household if they’re already in a bubble with other people.